“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
That of course is the opening line of the Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It could also be a metaphor for the state of access to justice in 2017. We are getting dangerously close to a tale of two justice systems, one for those who can afford legal help and another for the growing numbers of people in our community who cannot.
The stock market is at an all-time high and the economy is growing at a healthy clip. Yet at the same time, public funding for legal aid and related access to justice initiatives is under immense stress at all levels of government. Record numbers of people coming into the courts today are proceeding on their own–in some parts of the system as many as 90%–because there is not nearly enough affordable and accessible legal help to go around.
This should serve as a call to action to all lawyers and legal professionals, as we share the common bond of being the trustees of the justice system. Because of you, our legal community has a powerful collective voice in this common cause that is making a huge impact: The Chicago Bar Foundation. Thanks to your strong support, the CBF has become a national model in the fight to make the justice system fair and accessible for everyone in our community.
The CBF continues to make real strides to tell a different tale here in the Chicago area, but there is much more work to do for this tale to have a happy ending. Your support is more important than ever as we head into 2018.
Thank you for being a leader in this fight. Together, we are building a fairer and better justice system and a fairer and better community for all of us. As you consider your year-end giving, I hope the CBF can count on your support again to make an even bigger impact in 2018.
Make your gift online here, by calling Maggie McEldowney at 312-554-1247, or by mailing a check to the Chicago Bar Foundation at 321 S. Plymouth Ct., Suite 3B Chicago, IL 60604.
Thank you again for all you do, and all the best this holiday season.
President, The Chicago Bar Foundation